Siobhan Byrne: Get a workout buddy to stay on track
Exercising alongside others on a fitness journey can help with motivation
Thankfully, that crazy panic of wanting to get in shape in January, what with all those New Year resolutions, has eased as we head towards spring, and the queues for the treadmills at your local gym are hopefully settling down.
Now, we can start to look at fitness routines that are maintainable throughout the year.
In the cold months it's difficult to stay motivated, especially in the Irish climate when staying cosy indoors with the heat on and a cup of tea is the easier option - and, let's be honest, there are usually extra calories that accompany that relaxing cuppa!
Sometimes, even the thought of exercise after a hard day's work is disconcerting, but considering joining a gym could help you to overcome those after-dinner treats and instead burn some calories and get in great shape.
So, if you are thinking of joining a gym what should you look for? Well, choose a gym that works for you - maybe you have only 45 minutes to spend three times a week, and need a programme tailored to you. Or maybe you want to lose weight but gain muscle?
Choose a gym near you with the best reputation for coaching, great results and enjoyment. If you are not really up on what you should be doing there, look at what classes are on offer. Classes can be a great way of pushing yourself.
Look for a gym that offers a variety of strength training conditioning, cardio and stretching classes and at times that work for you.
Bring a friend. Having someone to workout with or to shoot the breeze with as you run or spot you when you're lifting weights will make the session go much faster.
If each gym session is taking much more than an hour from start to finish, you may find it is a short-lived experience as you may not have the time to continue.
Lastly, join a gym that is within 15 minutes travel time of work or home. Anything further away and, over time, you won't continue to go.
Getting in shape
1/ Start by standing upright with your arms bent and your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
2/ Simply lower yourself toward the floor, sending your hips back and down and bending your knees. Then push through your heels to return to the start position, keeping your back straight and head up throughout the exercise.
Curtsy Side Crunch
1/ Start by standing upright with arms by side of your head. If you have bad balance hold onto something stable for support with one hand.
2/ Step one foot behind the other into a curtsy.
3/ Then bring the back foot up in front side, bending your knee, bringing your elbow toward your knee. Return to start position and repeat on same leg.
1/ Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and your arms by your sides, then raise your legs off the floor approx 10 inches.
2/ Cross your legs over each other at the ankles, then open out to the side wide. Repeat the scissors-like movement.
• This is a great exercise for working your core and abs. Make sure that your lower back does not arch throughout the exercise, putting pressure on the lower back.
In Out Squat Jump
1/ Start in a semi-squat position with feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
2/ Jump into the air, changing your foot direction to split squat before landing.
3/ Then dip towards the floor.
4/ Jump back to a squat position and complete a squat, repeating as you go.
• This is a great exercise for runners and core stability, but is also great for working quads, hamstrings and calves
Health & Living